Today, the House Budget Committee's majority staff released a new report, "The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later." The report provides an in-depth look at the federal government's efforts to alleviate poverty in America today. In fiscal year 2012, Washington spent at least $799 billion on 92 programs to help low-income families. But as the report shows, some of these programs are duplicative or even counterproductive. And as a whole, they often discourage families from getting ahead.
Upon release of the report, Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin issued the following statement:
"For too long, we have measured compassion by how much we spend instead of how many people get out of poverty. We need to take a hard look at what the federal government is doing and ask, 'Is this working?'
"This report will help start the conversation. It shows that some programs work; others don't. And for many of them, we just don't know.
"Clearly, we can do better. We can rework these federal programs and help families in need lead lives of dignity.
"So in a spirit of reform, this report hopes to inform the public debate. This 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty is an opportunity to review the record in full. And we should seize it. "
To read the full report: http://budget.house.gov/waronpoverty/